11/19/10 — Mt. Olive Pickle to add on to its distribution center

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Mt. Olive Pickle to add on to its distribution center

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on November 19, 2010 1:46 PM

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Daren Radford, left, superintendent of R.N. Rouse, and Tim Blake, district superintendent of the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. look over blueprints for a 138,000-square-foot expansion of the company's distribution center.

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mt. Olive Pickle Co. breaks ground this week on an environmentally friendly expansion project that will double the size of its warehouse capacity.

The company will add 138,000 square feet to its 170,000-square-foot distribution center at the corner of Old Mount Olive Highway and Northeast Church Road.

The project will streamline the pickle company's shipping and receiving process, spokesperson Lynn Williams said.

The expansion to the existing center will be added to the north end of the distribution center, which was constructed in 1997. The company owns four warehouse facilities in the Mount Olive area.

The Mt. Olive Pickle Co. has prospered in recent years, experiencing a 36 percent increase in cases sold over the last four years. The expansion will provide for the company's growing distribution and storage needs, officials said. The extra space will allow the business to accommodate its additional sales growth and position it for further growth in the future.

"As our sales grow, our inventories grow, and we need to expand our storage space. Our growth is facilitating the need for additional storage capacity," she said.

The Mt. Olive Pickle Co. brand is the second-best selling brand of pickles in the United States, and in some sales reporting periods over the past year, it has led the pickle category in unit sales.

The company line of packed peppers is the top seller in the country, and Mt. Olive is recognized as the top brand for the canned peppers, officials said.

The company's work force has also grown 28 percent in the last five years, adding dozens of employees to its year-round staff of about 500 people. The company also employs an additional 300 seasonal workers who help at the height of the cucumber season every summer.

The new warehouse will feature four new bay doors that will serve as a receiving center only, leaving the original 10 bay doors on the east side of the building for shipping.

The expansion should generate greater inventory efficiency, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. Executive Vice President Bobby Frye said.

"We'll be able to send more product directly to the DC, and hopefully it will reduce the handling costs we have moving product back and forth between warehouses," he said.

The distribution center expansion will be a green facility, incorporating the latest innovations in energy-saving insulation, high efficiency lighting and air systems. The expanded facility will also feature climate controls that will enhance product quality.

The project was designed by engineering firm Criser Troutman Tanner of Wilmington. The distribution center expansion should be completed by May 2011, company officials reported.

R.N. Rouse Construction of Goldsboro will contract the project.

The Mt. Olive Pickle Co. has operated at its Mount Olive facility at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Street since it was founded in 1926.